Last Updated: 3-May-2016

I’ve been putting off updating this guide for a long time, but people kept pestering me until I had to griffin.



This is a very popular chassis, drawing many fanboys from competitive teams and the PUG queue alike. Mainly used for brawling, it boasts one of the highest torso twist ranges in the game, a damn good speed, jumpjets, sweet hitboxes, and all sorts of other perks that put it near the top of most people’s list.

The breakout star of the Griffin chassis has always been the GRF-3M, due to its insane ability to just spam missiles. Since the introduction of the GRF-2N, it has definitely challenged it for the top spot in a similar role but with ECM, though I still prefer the GRF-3M. If you’re willing to invest MC, the Sparky is a great choice for your third variant as it is in many cases the best variant, but less Griffin-y. If you don’t go for the Sparky, the better of the remaining variants has got to be the GRF-1N. The final variant is the GRF-1S, though it is rarely used due to its lackluster hardpoints, not having enough energy nor missile to truly boat either.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • Hardpoint placement on missiles is incredible on most variants – they are right next to each other which results in a very tight spread, making the missiles about as pinpoint as SRMs can reasonably be. The exception is the GRF-2N, which does still have very high hardpoints.
  • Overall pretty good hitboxes, which are made even better by jumpjets – the jumping animation isn’t broken, but there is a definite lunge forward in the torso, which can make a few shots miss their intended component. Its legs are also relatively hard to hit for a 55-tonner (though the difference isn’t huge), which helps in matches where the enemy is focusing legs.
  • Effective at shielding side torsos with arms (though this point is made a bit moot if they focus your legs, which is rather popular these days), which is accentuated by its massive torso-twist ability. For example, when running forward with the enemy to your right and a bit behind you, you can spin your torso the full 156° and shield with your left arm.



  • Generally, you’re all but forced to take a short-range build (except on the Sparky). LRMs are simply inadequate for this mech – you can’t carry enough to make it worth it, and even if you did you would be outperformed by lighter mechs.
  • Hardpoints are pretty low-mounted with only a few exceptions, and those are missile hardpoints.
  • Most builds call for an XL engine, leaving you vulnerable to getting side-torso’d.


Generic Tips

  • Abuse the torso-twist. After you play it enough, you’ll start to get a sense of how far you can twist without actually losing the ability to shoot your enemy, so pay attention to that and keep your mind open to opportunities for out-maneuvering them with that.
  • While it can take a bit of a beating, you are not a tank. Your best bet (in a short-range build) is to use hit-and-run tactics, where (after the engagement starts) you close, fire a few alphas into a target, and then move on, break line of sight, and do it again.
  • When hurt, you can do well with corner-peeking at short range (as long as the enemy isn’t watching that corner, of course). Peek around, loose a volley of missiles, then shield and get back behind cover.
  • Remember to tap those jumpjets when you’re getting shot! The animation is almost always to your benefit, and even if the positive elements of the strategy aren’t guaranteed, there are virtually no negatives (practice the timing in testing grounds for how much time between taps you need to wait to get the next animation).



If you’re not familiar with my Inner Sphere Master Guides, each pretty much follows the same formula. Each variant gets its own section; within that section I try to include at least two main builds, each with a few variations on the core principle (if applicable).

Each build has one paragraph about the build itself – going over anything I feel is relevant to understanding it such as quirks, tonnage issues, how it fits the meta, my general feeling about it…just whatever. And then there’s a paragraph about using the build, going over tactics, tips, and whatever I feel is relevant to that, including links to L2P guides, on occasion.

I may miss a build that you like, or my builds may differ slightly from what you find works best for you because our philosophies may differ – I strongly encourage that you experiment for yourself to see what works best for you.

The modules are listed in order of which one is most important and the consumables I’ve listed are the ones that are generally the best, but while leveling the mech you may want to swap the less important consumable out for a UAV. That is, if you can afford to use consumables at all (they aren’t necessary, just nice, and if you’re low on C-Bills they’re not necessarily worth it).

On with it!



This mech is incredibly powerful in a brawl, and the best in its role. Its only quirks are 10% to missile cooldown and velocity, and 50% to structure, but that’s all it needs.

Build 1:

This is pretty much the standard build for a Griffin. The specifics vary from person to person, but the stacked SRM4As are absolutely brutal for high DPS and low spread. The flamer is very effective at shutting down enemy mechs (figuratively and literally) which can both help you stay alive at short range and make it easier to get accurate shots! But of course, they’re just backup, and if you get hot you’ll want to stick to SRMs while your flamers cool off. And of course, you can straight swap the Flamers for Medium Lasers.

For the most part, this mech plays like any other brawling medium. Wait for the engagement to start, use your bigger mechs as diversions and meatshields, pump the enemy full of missiles whenever you get the chance, and just generally focus on wrecking as many enemies as you can. You’ve got to play cautiously until the engagement starts because if you get hurt you can’t afford to brawl at all, but usually you can get away with poking quickly at short range. Flanking on your own is very dangerous, but can also be rewarding if the enemy team is sufficiently distracted.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, Flamer Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

It drops a flamer and a heat sink, but it picks up quite a bit of speed in the process.

You lose one of your flamers and some speed, but it works out pretty well.

Some prefer this for its extra punch, but I feel that the restrictions it imposes on your mech simply aren’t worth it.

Weapon Modules: SRM6 Cooldown, SRM6 Range


Build 2:

It’s a LRM boat. Unfortunately, the only way to (reasonably) fit Artemis with 4 launchers is to use LRM5s, and 4 LRM5s (or at most, 3 LRM5As and 1 LRM10A) is not a very impressive amount of firepower. Still, 40 LRMs even without Artemis isn’t anything to scoff at. When heat is an issue fire them in two groups of two, and when it isn’t you can alpha strike – the ghost heat isn’t too bad.

It plays just like every other LRM boat – stay in the back, wait for your team to do the work for you, then start shooting. You have a decent amount of maneuverability with this build and plenty of ammo, so make sure you reposition whenever you have to (if your position becomes vulnerable or if you can’t get good shots off). And if you wanna maybe have some fun, you can even do some LRM poptarting (which is exactly what it sounds like).

Mech Modules: Target Decay, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: LRM10 Cooldown, LRM10 Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike



It’s not quite as brutally effective in a brawl, but the higher mounts and ECM keep it on the same level as the GRF-3M. It gets 10% to missile velocity and 50% to PPC velocity, 35% to turn rate and torso twist speed, 13 structure in each leg and 12 extra structure in the RA.

Build 1:

This build is similar to the GRF-3M, but focuses on a higher alpha over the DPS (though it does retain quite a bit of that too). It also gets 4 high mounts instead of 2, the defensive and team support value of the ECM, and the twisting helps him shield.

The build plays a lot like the GRF-3M’s, but it has a greater focus on trading rather than full-on brawls. This usually takes the form of short-range jumpshots and/or hill humps, but at the end of the day you’re still a brawler and will do well in full engages.

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Target Info Gathering

Weapon Modules: SRM6 Cooldown, SRM6 Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

It’s too slow for me, but it’s really, really brutal at short range.

Slow is a relative term. This is meant more to emulate the GRF-3M than take advantage of the GRF-2N’s ability to run 4 6s with an XL, but it does get a lot of DPS out of it and remains a very powerful brawler. You can also swap the flamers out for lasers.

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, SRM4 Range

This gets a lot of speed, but is kind of wimpy in my opinion (roughly the same offensive power as an Oxide…)

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, SRM4 Range


Build 2:

This isn’t a particularly special build, so I’m not going to go too far into it, but I wanted to at least discuss a build that isn’t just brawling. Your main focus is the velocity-buffed PPCs and 4 jumpjets, which should let you poptart and corner-peek with ease and style, but the streaks can come in handy against lights or just for extra damage (though I wouldn’t recommend using them on bigs if you’re running hot at all).

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Target Info Gathering

Weapon Modules: PPC Range, SSRM2 Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike



It’s too bad that you have to drop MC on it, but the Sparky really is a fantastic mech. The lack of a range quirk sucks, but it does pick up 5% to energy cooldown and 15% to energy heat gen and laser duration. On top of that, you do get 13 structure in each leg and 12 structure in each arm (not the craziest of defensive buffs, though).

 Build 1:

This mech is a pretty typical example of mid-range IS play. 3 Large Pulse is a bit weak for my liking on a 55 ton mech (more appropriate for 45 tons), but the cooldown and duration quirks make you like a mini-QKD-4G, with high DPS and damage concentration, and the heat gen quirk lets you keep the firepower up for a long time.

Your range bracket is somewhere between short and medium range, so you can engage up to around 500 meters, as long as you’re not likely to get out-traded at that range. In general you will want to keep it to around 300 meters for your engagement distance, and jump in and out of the fight trying not to attract too much attention. Use your speed to reposition as often as you want, and get in all the free trades you possibly can. For more on Laser Vomit, check out the guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Large Pulse Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This drops a Large Pulse for 4 extra mediums, picking up a good bit of firepower for an unfortunately loss in range.

Weapon Modules: Medium Laser Range, LPL Cooldown

This gets a really nice bit of extra range and takes better advantage of the duration quirks. I hate that it breaks ghost heat, but stagger firing isn’t the end of the world, and the range does come in handy at times (particularly since the mech has no range quirk).

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown


Build 2:

This is one of the best Medium Pulse boats in the game, and would be a fantastic choice if Medium Pulse boats were still a big thing. And also if it were 5 or 10 tons lighter. Its range is limited, but your DPS and heat efficiency are pretty good. It’s a pretty simple loadout with not much nuance, overall.

You’ll want to play this a lot like the other Griffin brawlers. The main difference is that it’s especially important that you focus all of your damage on one component, because while you’re not doing as much damage as other brawlers, you can control how pinpoint it is. The beam duration really helps with that, but you gotta work with it too. This mech is suited mainly to brawl support rather than hard engaging, as your weapons are more suited to picking apart damaged enemies than opening them up, and your armor is not thick enough to tank. This mech is not suited to 1v1s like other mediums are, so going off on solo missions to the enemy flank is pretty much always a bad idea. Your speed lets you play this role pretty well though, so stay mobile and stay active and you can excel at it.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Medium Pulse Range, Medium Pulse Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike



All in all, this variant is very similar to the 3M but with less missiles and more energy – which basically translates to it being an inferior brawler. It does get 5% to energy cooldown and heat gen, and 10% to missile cooldown and velocity, as well as 13 structure in the legs and 18 in the RA.

Build 1:

Since it doesn’t have enough hardpoints for maximum missile boating, and it has too many energy hardpoints for me to consider them purely backup, I decided to go for pure brutality. Your firepower is impressive, and the heatsinks are at least sufficient, but it does fall a fair bit short of the other variants. The main bonus of this build in my opinion is its asymmetry, so you can corner peek with all your considerable firepower.

Play this a lot like the GRF-3M brawler, but with more poke ability. You still want to focus on hit-and-run tactics, but the “hit” part should last until you get too hurt to carry on or until you’re running too hot to keep firing. Shield with your left side as much as you can, but not to the point where your left torso is open, and then you can shield with your right until you lose that arm. Then you kinda wanna run around taking CT damage, but there’s no way to shield like that unfortunately. When you’re running hot, just use your SRMs, as they are actually heat neutral and should let you fire continuously.

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: SRM6 Cooldown, Medium Pulse Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This prioritizes DPS and concentrated firepower over the raw alpha strike, but you really do miss that raw power. The extra heat sinks are rather nice, though.

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, Medium Pulse Range


Build 2:

Again, very similar to the GRF-3M build but with less firepower and more utility. Essentially, you end up dropping an LRM10 and some ammo for Artemis and some backup weapons. I think it’s a pretty fair trade, and that this build is probably better at LRMing than the one on the GRF-3M.

Just play it as a normal LRM boat. You’ve got all the speed and ammo you should need, so focus on getting in shots whenever possible and you’ll be fine. If you don’t have to TAG targets for yourself don’t, but if you’re ineffective due to ECM you might have to get your TAG going, and if they’re in range you can take that as an opportunity to use your lasers too. Otherwise, your lasers are best saved for enemies that close to sub-180 as they are not as heat-efficient as your LRMs.

Mech Modules: Target Decay, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: LRM10 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike



This really is the worst variant of Griffin. It has the most energy hardpoints and is the only one with LT missile hardpoints, but none of that is really good… Its quirks are decent though, with 15% laser duration, 10% to missile cooldown and velocity and energy range, and 13 structure in each leg and 18 in the RA.

Build 1:

There are certainly worse builds out there! The full alpha is more than decent, it has loads of heatsinks, and plenty of ammo to see you through the fight! Unfortunately, it’s a squishlord and really doesn’t stand up to most other mechs out there, but it’s really not awful.

Another typical brawler. Before the full engage starts and you do the typical medium brawler stuff, you’ll want to poke with your right side to get off free alphas with your pulse lasers. The range isn’t great, but the duration is especially low with the quirks, so you don’t need to spend much time exposed. When the brawl comes, start out with a bunch of alphas and then back off to using the SRM6s and take cover if you start running hot.

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: SRM6 Cooldown, MPL Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike


Build 2:

This build is like a hybrid between the Sparky and WVR-6K, but comes up short in both comparisons. That being said, it’s the most meta-friendly GRF-1S, and if you just want to level the mech, it’s probably your best bet. As such, I’m not gonna focus on it much, but I’ll go over the basics. Corner-peek with your arm pretty much all game at ranges of over 500 meters. Fire in groups of 3+1 or 2+2 most of the game, only alpha-striking if you’re losing trades or have plenty of heat to spare. Protect the arm, and stay with your team.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

Same idea, but with Large Pulses instead for lower exposure times and better heat management (also, better speed!)

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Large Pulse Cooldown


Build 3:

This  has a bit of extra point-defense in exchange for less LRM power. Overall it’s a pretty decent build, I suppose, but It’s not exactly great. One of the things going for it is that it avoids ghost heat, and with the right module setup the LRMs all come out at once. Your Medium Lasers also get some good quirk power, so definitely use those if you get a good shot.

This plays pretty much exactly the same as the other LRM builds in here. The main difference is that you don’t have to worry about ghost heat at all, so you can just hold the trigger down all day long. The other difference is that you can actually put out some damage when they close, due to your 3 quirks Medium Lasers. Play this one a bit more up-front and you’ll be able to combine your weapon systems to do maximum DPS.

Mech Modules: Target Decay, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: LRM15 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike


Pilot Skills

I’ve figured that this is the best skill order for pretty much any mech, and so I’m just going to customize it for mechs that have to emphasize unusual pilot skills, and the Griffin is not one such mech.

Basics: Cool Run – Heat Containment – Hard Brake – Kinetic Burst – Twist Speed – Twist X – Anchor Turn – Arm Reflex

Elites: Speed Tweak – Fast Fire – Quick Ignition – Pinpoint

Then just master it. Definitely master the GRF-3M, and if you bought it the Sparky. I’d only bother with the 1N (or the 1S) if you found that variant particularly enjoyable, as they’re not really better in any considerable way.


And that’s that. I hope you enjoy your mech, let me know if you have any questions, and as always glhf

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